Synopses & Reviews
Here is the second volume in a fast-paced planetary adventure series starring a cynical journalist and a robot valet with heavy weaponry and lots of attitude. This time duo, are caught on a planet where poetic composition is deadly competition.
The Planet Sartori is a Highly Developed But Sparsely populated and remote place, occupied by survivors from twentieth-century Japan and devoted to the isolationist, Imperialist traditions of the premodern era. The only known visitors are invited writers who participate in the Renga poetry competitions, which are judged by the Emperor himself. The penalty for a lackluster entry is ritual death on the spot, and some famous but burnt-out writers have been known to choose a blaze of glory as their final exit.
When Ramsey, the hero from Bloodsport, the first volume in this series, is invited to the competition because of his widely known writing about hunting and death, he's just crazy enough to accept. Accompanied by Ball, his robot valet, Ramsey arrives only to discover that the Sartori interest lies more in Ball than in himself. They see him as their ideal "Zen Robot" of legend and are determined to pry out the secrets of his human origins from him at any cost.
Man Meets Ball
The all-brain cyborg known as Ball and I are old friends. We met as big-game hunters, stalking the most vicious creature in the Universe'the Pondoro Wolverine, also known as the greer.
Now we're on the planet Ptolemy for an even more dangerous contest'a ritual renga competition (plus a little sport shooting of dragons). First prize is a parasitic life-form with hyper-Newtonian communicative abilities.
The loser gets Death.
The winner gets to envy the loser.
And the game is about to begin....
About the Author
William R. Burkett, Jr., 54, is a native of Georgia who grew up in Neptune Florida, and began writing when at age fourteen he given an ancient Smith-Coronatypewriter. His first science-fiction novel, Sleeping Planet,
was published in ANA-LOG
magazinewhen he was 20, and subsequently published in hardcover and paperback in the U.S. and abroad.
On the strength of being a publishedwriter, he was promoted to reporter at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Florida, beginning a career in journalism which led him from the Bahamas to Pennsylvania to the state of Washington. He continued to write creatively, and had some fiction and nonfiction magazine sales. But he found journalism a beguiling mistress, due to the twin incentives of a steady paycheck and seeing his byline on page one.
In 1978 he left journalism for public relations, and was a public informationofficer for three different state agencies in Arizona and Washington state. He edited a monthly tabloid for the Arizona Game and Fish department, which "required" him to spend days on end out in the wilds with a gun or fishing rod, doing research. In Washington, he headed up a negotiating team which settled major litigation between the state and local Indian tribes over tribal sales of untaxed liquor. And he won a Clio, a Telly, and other writting awards for TV commercials which promoted traffic safety.
He left state service 1993 and returned to full-time fiction writing. Bloodsport, his second science-fiction novel, was published in 1998 by HarperPrism. He has two grown children, Beau and Heather. He and his wife, Wanda, live in the small logging community of Buckley, Washington, with a cranky cat and a gun-shy Lab retriever.